Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fort Day!

We had sick kids and a rainy day - what to do?  Build a fort in the living room, of course.  Jayce wasn't sick, but Mom decided to keep him home.  Shows you how much confidence I have in public schools (fort building at home or a day at school - time better spent!).

Do you like Tennyson's flying nun hairdo?

Charlotte wants a pet, badly.  She has narrowed her choices and has left the final decision to me.  The choices in order presented: a Lion, a Giraffe, a Puppy, or a Bear.  hmmmm.  A good selection.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blew Her Mind

Charlotte and I were visiting in the car on our way back from the fabric store when she started a discussion about corn on the cob.
First she wanted to know if Tennyson could eat corn on the cob.  I told her she could.  She might not eat much, but would love the buttery mess.
Then she need to clarify that she was talking about corn on the cob and not a hot dog on a stick - corn on a big stick.  She told me how much she loves corn on the cob.
I decided to share this information with her.  I told her how a hot dog we put the hot dog on the stick.  Corn on the big stick grows that way.

It does! she exclaimed with eyes wide.  I giggled.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sidewalk Angels

A few weeks ago I happened to be having a rough day and I was sent Angels to lift me.  These were not your usual variety of Angels - these were Sidewalk Angels.  They left me little messages that really made my day.  It was such an amazing idea.  If you know anyone who needs a little extra love - give them sidewalk messages.  Awesome.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

6.8 Earthquake - No Sweat

About lunch time the house started rumbling and shaking for just a second.  I thought - hmmm - was that an earthquake or did a big truck drive by.  Then about a minute later (probably less) things started really shaking and they weren't stopping.  So I grabbed Tennyson and Charlotte and headed for the dinning table.  About the time we got there it stopped.  I was mildly impressed, things were really moving.  It didn't even rattle my dishes or knock anything off the wall - these concrete houses.  I think grabbing Charlotte and heading for the table freaked her out.  She was very nervous after that.

The boys of course had their own wild moments at school.  Jayce was at lunch and saw a TV fall to one side - so he bailed under the table and other kids followed suit.  Grahm was in the computer lab and he has stories of lights falling and a computer getting broken as they went under the tables.  I think I need some clarification - the teacher didn't give any indication that anything that interesting happened.  Never a dull moment here.

Marine Corps Birthday Ball

Jason finally let me attend a military formal function.  In the past we have had too little of babies or he has decided that it is not a great atmosphere for his wife.  This one was a great experience.  I loved all of the ceremony involved and all the symbols.  It was a nice reminder of why we are here and to feel a real connection to the history of our great country.  I think it is so easy to take for granted all of our freedoms and all of the sacrifices of the past that bring us to this point.  I was so glad I was able to attend and hope to be able to again.  The Marine Corps knows how to put on a show.

As we reached the car on our way out - Jason conveniently remembered that we didn't get our picture taken.  Even though I was disappointed I was not about to ask a grumpy man to walk all the way back in to see if the pictures were still available.  So I was sad until I decided that we would just have to dress up again another day and have our pictures taken.  Jason realized that he should have chosen to walk back in and check things out or he should have helped me remember earlier in the evening.  He loves getting his picture taken and loves getting fancied up.

This is a snapshot after we got home - so the hair has wilted and we are tired.  I photoshopped out the door, so that is why it is weird.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


We had a good Halloween.  By that I mean - I only had to dress them up twice.  The first time was for festival on base.  It was fun and Jayce went with a friend - and we definitely got the "I am too cool for you" vibe when we tried to say hi.  

Charlotte went as a Black Crow to the festival (Grahm wore it when he was about the same age - Jayce was a Scarecrow).  Then Monday at about noon we were talking and she was telling me how much candy everyone was going to give her because she was going to be so creepy.  I explained to her that the Crow costume wasn't that creepy (unless you are scared of Crows ;)).  She told me she needed blood on her face.  I further explained that with a mask you don't get to have blood on her face.  Well she decided to be a vampire instead.  Grahm was Snake Eyes (from GI Joe).  Jayce as Larten Crepsley from The Saga of Larten Crepsley.  Picture at the bottom.

I made the kids a Halloween lunch.  The boys told me everyone at school was super jealous.  Maybe I will try harder next year.  We had help Trick-or-Treating this year.  So someone younger than Jason and I took the boys off running and they came back with a ridiculous amount of candy.  I think next year I will buy smaller bags.  Charlotte had a friend who went as a witch, they were super cute.

Jason is always so good to carve exactly what the kids ask for.  I would probably say - too hard and stick with the traditional face.

Here is the cover of the Jayce's new favorite book.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

40th Annual Naha Tsunahiki (Tug-of-War)

This year we attended the annual Tug-of-War festival in Naha.  This event has been in the Guinness Book of World Records.  

This is an excerpt from wikipedia.
The festival begins with men dressed in traditional Okinawan garb standing on the rope facing in opposite directions to symbolize the battle between East and West. A myriad of performances take place along the rope's length, from martial artists of varying ages, to older women performing a sort of fan-dance. It is a international event with Japanese nationals, American military, and tourists in attendance. Just before the start of the match a man dressed in the garb of the Ryūkyūan kings stands on a wooden platform hoisted in the air on the shoulders of men standing on opposite sides of the rope. The "king" is carried on this platform down the length of the rope, before the festival starts, and the two kings perform a ritual sword contest.
The main rope, over one meter in diameter, has many smaller diameter, but very long ropes extending from it, and the participants pull these during the contest. The contest lasts 30 minutes and the challenge is to pull the other team a total of 15 meters. If neither side pulls the other the 15 meters, whichever side has pulled the other the furthest wins.
After the 30 minute time limit expires, one side is declared the victors, and they are allowed to climb on top of their rope to celebrate. It is customary for participants to cut apart the rope, and take a length of it as a token, and so throngs of people using tools ranging from their pocket knives, scissors and hacksaws set on the rope cutting lengths of it to commemorate the festival.

Before the Tug-of-War starts there is a parade.

There are several of these large "flags".  They bounce them to the music as they move down the street during the parade.  The other sticks are there to help pick up the "flag" and to keep it upright.  Each "flag" has a different top.  

In the events of NAHA GIANT TAG-OF-WAR, there are many unique and traditional events- finger whistle, firecracker, gong, drum, preparation and Karate‐show. Before the tag-of-war, parade of 14 flags is held by many young men wearing the black special uniform named Mumunuchihanta. This parade is called Ufunnasunei. There are 14 committees in the conservation society, but each of them has one or two flags. These flags are symbols and good-luck charms of the areas, which they live.  It is very difficult to walk and hold the flags. So the young men are very proud of attending the parade and holding the flags. (Source)

Some children performing in the parade.

This is how you have fireworks in a parade.  They light them and toss them in this little box.  I want one.

After the parade and before the tug-of-war started we checked out a local meat market.  This was interesting.  Pork is important here on the island.

This picture gives you an idea of how large around the rope is.

The boys getting ready to help pull.

The drummers help the participants pull the rope to a rhythm.  Charlotte and her friend are getting a chance to help.

I took this picture so you could see how crowded it is.  I was really nervous that Grahm was going to get trampled.  The blonde head in the middle.

Before the Tug-of-War begins they have a re-enactment fight between the Ryukyu East and West rulers.

They pulled for 30 minutes.  It was hot and crowded pulling and Jason will never do it again.  After the contest is over then everyone gets a pieces of the rope.  It is good luck that lasts all year.  It was a tie this year.